Perspective is perhaps the most important factor to consider when passing judgement.

A fuller perspective on an issue provides the necessary context for adequate understanding.

And when it comes to issues of national interest, a full perspective is required for the right and accurate diagnosis, and not a lazy reliance on repeated narratives. 

Black Stars deputy captain, Thomas Partey, this week, raised concerns about the poor state of stadia during a visit by Vice President Dr. Bawumia to the team’s hotel ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Central African Republic. 

His concerns further reechoed the consistent cries from the sporting fraternity of the lack of modern stadia in Ghana, and the general poor maintenance of the few out of date existing ones.

The National Sports Authority, the body in charge of maintaining the state owned sporting facilities in Ghana has come under fire for their perceived poor handling and maintenance of these facilities. Are these heavy criticisms fair? Are the NSA properly equipped to do a good job, or are they just merely incompetent, as many on the outside perceive?

Maybe with some more perspective, we can reach a telling conclusion. 

Joy Sports sources, revealed that the entire Sports Authority received no subventions from the Sports Ministry in the final quarter of 2023, yet sporting events went ahead as scheduled.

With no monetary support coming in, the authority was then forced to rely on revenue gained from the use of the facilities.

Take the Accra Sports Stadium for example. Ghana premier league games are played there every weekend throughout the course of the football season.

This season’s game between Accra Hearts of Oak andAduana Stars was one of the highest grossing games, fetching about GHS 32,000 in gate proceeds. The NSA received about GHS 3,200 out of the total amount, due to their mandated 10% share of all gate proceeds.

Assuming all four weekend games in a month fetched this amount, which isn’t the case though, that’ll bring the authority’s monthly earnings from strictly sporting events to about GHS 13,000. 

That said, the average cost of electricity at the Accra Sports Stadium alone is between GHS 70,000 to GHS 80,000 monthly.

In addition to that, your standard pitch maintenance, which includes cutting, fertilizer, weed control, aeration among others, costs an average of GHS 20,000 per standard size pitch.

With this information, how is the Sports Authority expected to properly maintain the facility with such a huge monetary deficit?

Jesus Christ, perhaps, is the only figure in history with well documented evidence in multiplying little resources. One would not fault the NSA for opening up these facilities to His followers for various activities due to the revenue they bring in. 

Truth be told, without external or non sporting activities, these stadia would simply have to close down, because sporting activities are simply not making enough revenue to sustain them. 

The electronic ticketing system, which was supposed to bring relief and clarity to revenue collection has become problematic, as the NSA has been plagued with serious delays and sometimes complete neglect in receiving their share of match revenue, since its introduction. 

The approved budget for the Ministry of youth and sports for 2024 was GHS 195m. Out of that, the NSA has been allocated a measly GHS 3.94m, which represents just about 2% of the overall allocation to the sports ministry. 

The big question is - if we see the need to provide more sporting infrastructure, why do we allocate so little to the maintenance of the existing facilities? 

A new approach must certainly be taken, on the back of this perspective. 

Ghanaians may not be swayed even if Thomas Partey’s request is granted, because as long as this attitude continues, maintenance will always be an issue. 

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.